Barbara Peace: Contributing to the Larger ConversationOct. 15, 2018
Barbara Peace (Dallas EMBA 2018) had been a nurse for many years when she decided to go back to school for an MBA. She describes feeling “stagnant” at work, as though she’d accomplished everything she wanted to in that role. How can I leverage myself into something greater? she wondered.
Barbara realized that while she knew a lot about disease processes, medications, and evidence-based practice, she knew next to nothing about what she calls “the business side of medicine.” Hoping to contribute to the larger conversation happening around patient care, she researched Executive MBA programs with an emphasis on Healthcare, and was delighted to discover Baylor—practically “in the backyard” of her Fort Worth, Texas home.
“It was like the stars aligned,” she says. From Baylor’s professed Christian values to the way that ethics (especially important in medicine) informed every one of Barbara’s classes, she observes of this “natural fit,” “It was an incredible way for me to progress personally and professionally.” Not only did the program “wildly exceed” her expectations, but the people and professors she met left her thinking, Wow! How did I get so lucky?
Midway through the program, Barbara and her husband welcomed their first son. She recalls: “I gave birth four hours after my last Finance class. I was in the back of the class, bending over, taking notes in labor.” She didn’t want to miss a single class. While she admits that life with an infant, a husband, a full-time career, and school was “challenging,” she believes that Life/Learn Balance is totally achievable so long as you “know and embrace your New Normal.”
Her son’s arrival interrupted Barbara’s planned class trip to Washington, D.C., but she got to go the following August with another group. There they listened to lobbyists, visited the Federal Trade Commission, and met with one of the authors of the Affordable Care Act. “It was humbling, exciting, and reassuring … in our politically-charged world,” Barbara says, “to hear that healthcare is in good hands. In my lifetime, we will improve the quality of care, decrease costs, and increase patient satisfaction.”
Last fall, Barbara received a promotion at work that she attributes directly to her MBA. Today she is a nurse manager for the largest pediatric urology practice in the country. More than just patient care, she is helping to create policies, improve efficiencies, and manage clinic financials. “I’m able to apply what I learned at Baylor to my work every day!”